Titanic: The Long Night
The story of the Titanic is one of historical fact that lends itself especially well to works of fiction. The grand contrast between the wealthy on the promenade deck and the nearly penniless immigrants on E Deck, the arrogance of the Gilded Age, and the well-known and lasting images of the ship's final hours all provide perfect story fodder, all without the necessity of adding anything original. This provides an interesting challenge for writers aspiring to set their stories on the liner, requiring enough originality to stimulate the imagination, but enough fealty to the well-known storylines to maintain credibility. Titanic: The Long Night errs on the side of familiarity both with regard to the ship's story and its characters, and though the book doesn't particularly suffer for it, what emerges is an oft-told tragic tale of young love. Hoh makes the usual rounds, visiting many of the usual sights around first class and a riotous party in the third class common room. The stories and characters are familiar, but compelling enough to maintain readers' attention throughout the novel, and there is a very real sense of suspense throughout, aided by the possibility that the main players might well die by the end of the novel. Though there are naturally some losses, none are particularly surprising, and the ultimate conclusion is a fitting, if expected. There are times when Hoh tries too hard to shoehorn modern politics into an earlier context, though this does make the novel more relatable for teens, who are its most appropriate, and likely its intended, audience. Despite the fact that the book treads a well-worn path, Hoh is skilled enough to create a compelling story, and the characters rise enough above stock level- though only just in many cases- to allow readers to care. In the end, the book is precisely what it aspires to be: Titanic: The Long Night is a satisfying, middle-of-the-line romantic story that efficiently utilizes the well-known facts of its setting to appeal to a modern audience.